Top Tailback is Running Wild

Elite running back recruit Jason Evans is off to a fast start with his senior season, on defense as well as offense. If you wonder if recruits get overhyped, this helps to reaffirm that Jason Evans can perform at the level of his spring and summer expectations. Additionally, Jason is between official visits to schools of interest...

Jason Evans and his Harrison teammates are off to a fast and wildly successful start to the 2002 season.  The Hoyas just stomped all over McEachern, 38-0, and now hold a 3-0 record and number two ranking in the state behind powerhouse Parkview.  Parkview, by the way, may be in the crosshairs looking down the road at the state playoffs; Evans and Harrison lost to Parkview in the state finals two years ago and in the quarterfinals last year.

Individually, the elite running back has totaled some 310 yards rushing and 175 yards receiving, plus eight scores in the three games.  He has earned two metro player of the week awards in just three weeks, though ironically his finest performance was the one not recognized.  In Jason Evans' second game, a 29-6 win over North Cobb, he scored all four Harrison touchdowns and had a 70-yard fifth scored called back on a penalty.  He totaled 115 yards on 15 carries in that game.  For a great photo of Jason in this most recent game, click here.

Evans is also making one heck of a splash at cornerback, which is a greater defensive role for him in this his senior season.  To date, not a single pass has been completed against Jason, and he has recorded two interceptions.  According to father Terry Evans, Jason is really coming into his own at corner back.  "He is really maturing at the position, and is having a lot of success with the team's man-press defensive schemes," Terry says.  It is noteworthy that the other corner for Harrison is the Paul Oliver, currently ranked the #2 corner in the country by TheInsiders.com.  So this is not a case where Jason Evans is having success because the team can throw to the other side of the field.

Interestingly, there are several top teams who are recruiting Evans hard for that side of the ball.  Though most teams are careful not to make hard statements about playing defense, they are telling him that they would like to bring him in as an athlete, which is a euphemism for an offensive player they would like to put in on defense.  These programs include Tennessee, Miami, Florida and Texas A&M.  Penn State, Oklahoma and Stanford are still sticking to their guns that they want Jason strictly at running back.

In more recruiting news, Jason took a well-publicized official visit to Penn State a week ago, where he saw their momentous upset of Nebraska.  Terry says that his son came away impressed.  "He had a great visit," pronounces the elder Evans.  "They had a huge crowd and a great game.  They treated him very well the whole weekend, and Jason had the chance to meet some Penn State greats.  They are communicating to him that he is very important to the direction of their offense - more of a West Coast offense - where he can help running and catching the ball."

It sounds to me like PSU is making headway on making Jason feel better about his early commitment.  I sure am not hearing anything bad on that end.  Nevertheless, it is noteworthy that Jason is taking official visits to two other schools, even in the wake of this positive visit to Happy Valley.  He will travel to Norman, OK to see Oklahoma play Colorado in a few weeks, and then will travel out to Stanford for an official visit in early December.  Note that an uncle with travel with Jason to Oklahoma, and his parents will both accompany him to The Farm for that visit.  In the words of his father, Jason is "committed to Penn State, but he wants to see everything on the table.  If Penn State is the right place for him, then any other visit should only confirm his decision."

So at this point, I think you won't see much of significance happen with Jason Evans until December.  I'll keep my ear to the ground, but certainly be checking in then for any news or changes.


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